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Reality Check.

Reality Check.

1: I am safe. Yes, I live in Turkey, and no, I haven’t heard a single gun, bomb, or anything else. Once I saw a police truck, but then I saw those all over Taiwan too, so no big deal there. I live in the same city as the Incirlik Air Base. I know people that live and work on the Base. They all assure me that we’re safe, there’s no craziness, etc.

I like knowing people there because even if I didn’t feel completely confident (and I do) that my school would keep me posted, I know the people on the Base will.

The US news media likes to play up fears and keep everyone second guessing everyone different. It’s a money making corporation that makes millions by keeping you worried.

But I’m fine. I will let you know if that changes, don’t worry. I have no need to be a hero, I will get the heck out of Dodge pretty damn quick if it becomes unsafe.

BUT I AM FINE. It’s actually pretty cool here. The people are friendly, caring, and not at all like what I thought. Tank tops, shorts, mini skits, high heels, flip flops, one shoulder tops, it’s all here. In fact I probably dress more conservatively than a lot of women here. Yes, there are lots of women who wear the head coverings and long skirts, and there are women dressed from top to bottom in all black with nothing but their eyes showing, but they all get along and talk to each other just fine.

I went to a pre-wedding shower and it was SO cool. I got a henna dot and got to be part of the dance around the couple!!

The food is great, the weather is great. The people are great. I haven’t explored much yet, but I plan to. I really love the teachers I work with.

2: I am not doing well at my new job. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had.

Not because of Turkey, but because the school was created without any planning into what it takes to run a school. Not the American program I am hired through, the actual school here. The other 4 English Language teachers and I are having to create, will have to train, and then institute an entire protocol/ behavior/ emergency plan from scratch while trying to teach in this madness. The entire experience is Crisis Management at its most extreme level on every front, at every turn.

Not one part of the needs for how a school should run, how to bring in foreign teachers, how to manage behavior, how to have after-school programs, or anything was planned. It was literally taking a building, hiring teachers, soliciting students and then saying, “Now go”. The owners put more planning into creating cut-out ceiling decorations for the school lobby than they put into creating any plan, let alone a comprehensive plan for running a school. (Virginia, I’m already writing an email to you for help! Expect it soon)

Though the children are in absolute chaotic states of being, much due to the candy, cookies, chocolate, cotton candy, and soda they are encouraged to buy every 40 minutes of school time, I cannot blame them. I have to deal with them, but this is a systemic problem from the TOP down.

We, the teachers (all the teachers, not just the foreign teachers), are having to deal with: the end result of sugared-up kids with no boundaries or rules, expectations for duties without any planning, materials, or support, and the bureaucratic needs of getting work visas, health insurance, phones, etc. with minimal protocol or communication on what needs to get done or how to do it and translation issues.

I need help, we are only teachers, but we need an entire plan for a K-12 school. ANYONE reading this that has good info and insight into what we may need to create this plan PLEASE email me!! teachermari423@gmail.com

3: Because of the madness at school and because of the difficult last 6 weeks of my personal life, my health is not good. Well, ok, actually my overall health is stellar. I just got a full two thumbs up at the doctor on the hormones, girlie parts, blood work, disease status, etc. It’s the weight loss, pain, hives, and hair loss I’m worried about. And it’s all due to stress.

Let me give you a visual here so you can understand what I mean.


This is the belt I bought just before coming to Turkey.



22 cm people!!!!! This is THE most unhealthy weight I’ve been at in close to 15 years. I’m down to 51 kg. I eat! I am NOT trying to do this. I am NOT starving myself, I am not eating low calorie, I am really really not doing this on purpose. I don’t like it.

And it pisses me off to no end that I keep getting complimented on how “pretty” I am because I’m so damn skinny!!!!!!! THIS SKINNY IS NOT PRETTY! This is UNHEALTHY.

I am working on gaining weight. I need about 5 kg more on me. I know this. I’m working on it. Don’t get too nuts trying to tell me to eat more. I am very aware of the necessity to get this under control and I’m really trying.

4: I miss my children so much. I miss them. I am so very proud of them. My Sweetpea is happy, in love and doing great in school! My Monkey is flying and getting all pilot-y. I am magnificently proud of all he’s doing! My Boomeister is developing his goals and studying and working and great! I miss them. I want to hug them every minute. I’m grateful for being here and doing the travelling I want to do and for being able to be a teacher. I am. I love it. And I love that they are so supportive of me and know that I love them with all my being. But I miss them and it’s difficult to be away from them. I can’t write more about that because I will turn into a weeping mess. But how much I love them, support them, and miss them is bigger than any blog could ever hold. I LOVE you!!

5: I want to be able to say I’m finally ok with all the stupid Sven stuff. I keep telling myself, it’s been over a month now get over it. Then I tell myself, it’s only been about a month, you’re doing fine.

I am doing fine. It’s not really him I’m struggling with. I’m actually having a more difficult time with the fact that I had let myself take his daughter into my heart and I am mourning that loss. And now, for the first time since my divorce, I actually do want to find someone to spend the rest of my life with.

That’s the real struggle. I am still completely happy with me all by myself, don’t get me wrong here. But I let the idea of having someone to share all this with become an interest, a desire, rather than a hindrance. And now I want it. Not with him. But with someone.

6: I miss my friends in Taiwan. All of them, even the ones I feel judged me harshly, wrongly. I miss the weekends, the scooter rides, the chit-chatting after work, and yes, even taking the trash out with Jai. I miss Barfly and PLUR. I miss my co-teachers and co-workers. I miss hanging out with Jordan, Trent, and Katie. I miss darts and drunk ballet. I miss Club 7 with Ian and chicken with Penny. I miss the Spanish Pavilion and the Studio. I miss sight-seeing and eating until I hurt with Tim, Wendy, William, Jordan, and their family.

I like the new friends I’m making here and we are becoming another little family, but that doesn’t change how much I miss my Taiwan family.

And that folks, is my Reality Check. It’s where I’m at.


 

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I was listening to this popular song

I was listening to this popular song, maybe you’ve heard of it?

I’m all about the bass by Meghan Trainor.

I am all about people loving themselves and being at least tolerant of, if not just accepting and appreciative of others in all the many ways we are.

At first, I really liked this song. It has a cute catchy beat and what seems to be a positive message.

HOWEVER

It, along with countless other agendas out there, claims to be about accepting self and others, BUT only if you’re not in a different category.

A few years back, one of the teachers I worked with was pretty famous for being a civil rights activist and teacher, on both sides of the coin. She claimed civil rights, others claimed racism.

I believe it was both; for the same reason that Meghan Trainor thinks she’s supporting loving yourself.

For the same reason that feminists are seen as both good and bad.

Because they put down, shame, and trivialize the groups that have been doing the same to them.

I want to state loud and clear that we cannot build up one group by bringing another down.

A while ago, a long while perhaps, I was having a discussion with a friend. She stated that chivalry was gone, that men don’t open car or building doors anymore, and that feminism had ruined manners.

I said I wasn’t sure that was so true, and she then stated that I must be one of those feminists that think no one should open doors for anyone anymore.

Not true. I am a feminist that believes that we should all be equal in how treat others and expect to be treated. I.e. whoever gets to the door first should open the door for the rest. Whoever is driving should open the passenger door. Whoever gets home first should start dinner. Whoever opens the trash lid to see it full, should take it out. If you make the mess, clean it up. If you lose your temper, apologize. If you have your heart set on something, mention it. If someone mentions “it”, pay attention and do what you can. etc.

You don’t get equality by everyone being rude, impolite, apathetic, or distant.

Men have long held a high powerful ranking in most societies. Yes, men have long abused that rank. And, yes, women have tried to use what they have to manipulate into positions of power. But this ever present male dominated society still dictates that even women with a powerful position are seen as inferior.

But here’s the thing, Equality means no one is abusing or manipulating. No one is more or less. We’re all just letting each other be and being good people to each other. If you’re good at something, you get to do it and you get to get paid the same as someone else doing the same thing. Plain and simple. There are no prejudices about who’s taking care of babies, bills, laundry, cars, or opening doors.

You can’t raise women up by putting men down. If you lower the position that men are on, you can only hope to raise women to the new, lower mark. Why make the meeting place of equality lower than the original position of high regard? Men need to stop hoarding the ranks through abuse, women need to stop whoring their worth. And I don’t necessarily mean sex here. I mean many women are willing to give up valuable parts of themselves, ie their personal worth, to gain position, instead of being able to gain position based on their actual worth.

We all need to be allowed to be the unique individuals we are, supported in doing the jobs we’re good at, educated without prejudice, and advanced through merit. That’s what equality is.

This teacher I knew would put a lot of emphasis and passion into teaching students about how awful white people were. Her reasoning was to help her minority students feel better about themselves because “their” people hadn’t done such awful things.

Ok, I can see her point and her reasoning. BUT, you don’t get equality by putting one group down to make the other feel better. YEP, that’s how the minorities got to be so left out, because the people of power shoved them down. But equality doesn’t mean lowering to raise, it means making everyone Equal. Why make the equal place lower?

White privilege needs to stop, it’s completely totally true. But that means removing the invisibility and treating everyone equally, not trapping everyone into the blanket. Look at South Africa right now, it’s just a topsy turvy of what it was before. That’s not equality.

And all this train of thought started with a song.

I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop
If you got beauty, beauty, just raise ‘em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top

Ok, that’s great, but then there’s this:

You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along


Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that
No I’m just playing. I know you think you’re fat

It’s just skinny shaming instead of fat shaming. WHEN THERE SHOULD BE NO SHAMING AT ALL. If every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top, then that should include everyone, the people in the middle, the skinny people, the fat people, everyone. You don’t create equality in who is seen as pretty by trying to make the current attractive the new ugly, you let everyone be attractive as they are.

What do you think?

 

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Today I’m a hater

Today I’m a hater

And I’m gonna hate, hate, hate.   Then I’m gonna shake, shake, shake it off, shake it off.

Then I’m going to become one with the wind and sky and let it go, let it go, let it go.

I’m gonna burn everything that will burn.  I’m going to reinvent everything that won’t.

Because yesterday I realized I need to forgive in order to finish this process.  It’s still going to take time, but it will only take longer if I hold onto the negativity.  I can’t do anything about him.

The truth is he couldn’t have ever loved me and it was all an act.  Love doesn’t behave this way.  Love communicates.  Love tries.  Love is how we overcome, it is not something to be overcome.  It is certainly not something we can feel one day and decide we don’t the next.

I have to forgive the charade in order to keep my happiness.  I have to forgive the hurtful words and timing.  I have to forgive the apathy those final words were presented with.  Not because he deserves it, but for me, because I deserve to move on and be happy.

I deserve not to have this hanging around like a rain cloud every day.  Today I’m going to finish hating.  Tonight, I’m gonna shake it off, and tomorrow I’m going to let it go.

I tried to let it go last night with this drawing, but it, this anger, this hurt, is being a little persistent.  I need today’s hate session but hopefully, hopefully….

Forgiveness is the Key

Forgiveness is the Key

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 
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Posted by on 18/10/2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Praha, Prague, Prag whatever you call it, make sure you say BEAUTIFUL first

Praha, Prague, Prag  whatever you call it, make sure you say BEAUTIFUL first

Here is the first photo I took in Prague. It’s beauty is not singular. This entire city is one beautiful building after another. And when you go past the city and into the “nature”, it’s even more beautiful.. If that was possible. People are caring.

As I was walking up this boy had lost his balloon and was crying. This father hugged him gently, no words, from the time it happened, through the time it took me to get the camera out and take a picture until after I had walked past. I don’t think they even noticed I was taking a picture. Sweet moments.


I walked along the city streets letting myself get a little lost in the wonder of it. Now I’m going to let you just take in the place with a photo fest

















I love the Autummn colors starting to show.














New friends always make sight seeing more enjoyable.






Though my appetite has been rather slight, I managed to get some tasty food in my tummy. My mouth was very happy about that. AND ALL THE GOOD COFFEE I COULD DRINK!








If the doctor literally prescribes drinking beer, who am I to go against doctor’s orders??? And yes, I had to see a doctor while there because I haven’t been doing the best job at taking care of myself and got sick. He actually looked me dead in the eye and told me to drink lots of beer. His reasoning? It is good for the mind, has good nutrition, and lots of fluids.



Restaurace Andel – my favorite place in Prague.


So, while walking along minding our own business a couple of my hostelmates and I stumbled upon an actual live filming movie set!! We hung out for a little over an hour and watched. Pretty cool! We also snuck in pictures with as many props as they didn’t kick us off of.  The whole time I kept wishing my David was there with me.  He would have LOVED it!!



















A few of the cool random places my new friends and I saw on our day touring the city.


The bar/ disco where we danced til 4 am!


Winceslas Square always has cool stuff to look at.






And because I always think about my friends and family while out here travelling, here’s a few grafiti art sites around Prague for my friend Jai.







And for Wendi, I saw this and thought, “AGH Wendi would go see this with me!!!!”

And here are the only two pictures I took in Germany. Sorry, but for the time being, that whole country can suck it. Hopefully that feeling won’t last long, because some day I’d like to go see it and enjoy what so many have told me is another country of wonderous beauty.


 
 

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A little bit of my trip to Europe

I’m going to make this brief because it’s early in the morning and I am supposed to be getting ready for work. I’ve had several people write or call and ask about my trip and though I LOVE talking to you individually it hasn’t gotten any easier yet to keep telling all this over and over. Please please please understand I need to write all this for the masses to protect my own sanity, not because I want all the world to know my business.

My trip was a complex set of emotional pyroclastic flows. On one hand it gave me resolve and a new direction to focus on. On the other hand, it was a staunch reminder of what I had so abruptly lost, at every turn. All in all it was healing to everything but my bank account, which is now suffering its own abrupt and dramatic loss.

I will write a little more here and there and put up lots of the pictures I took in that beautiful city soon. Hopefully this weekend. Yesterday, I turned on music and danced around my apartment as I cleaned up from the trip. That was incredibly therapeutic in and of itself. I think I’ll go do it again now.

I am grateful for the support I’ve felt through this. I am also grateful for the lessons I’ve learned in the past, the sense of self I have, and the true inner feeling that whatever the reason, I will be a better person because of it. I’m actually finally doing good, not just ok.


 
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Posted by on 10/10/2014 in Uncategorized

 

Praha, you beautiful city

I flew in to Stuttgart on Thursday. I can officially say I spent my birthday in two new countries.

I cried a lot as I aimlessly wandered the streets I was supposed to have been shown. I wondered what happened again.

I fearlessly got drunk at the hotel bar and was wished many happy birthdays by strangers dressed up for Oktoberfest.

In the morning, I climbed aboard the train headed to Prague and looked out at the beautiful landscape that was supposed to become my new home two years from now.  It was cold and foggy, the same way I felt.

And then miraculously I slept until we reached the fresh, wondrous landscape of The Czech Republic. As we pulled into the city of Prague,  it felt like coming home.

I really love this city. I love the buildings, the cobblestone roads and walks, the live music around every corner. I love the wonderful mix of people here.

It is a soothing balm to my soul.  I think I need to live here.  Turkey is good for now but this is where I will go next. 

 
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Posted by on 04/10/2014 in Uncategorized

 

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I have no answers

I really don’t know what happened. I don’t have any answers to the many questions I’m thinking. It doesn’t make any sense.

 

I was happily doing my own thing and somehow I got turned upside down by someone I understood, I cared about. Once we became more than friends, it was like all the madness of my life prior just disappeared. None of it mattered. I was me and he loved me exactly as I was. I was now happily in love, engaged, ready to take on everything because I felt so loved. He reassured me. He made arguments to the many ways he so obviously loved me more than I him. He took wonderful care of me.

 

We both knew his job and my job was going to keep us from seeing each other more than every other month or so. We made numerous plans for when I would go to Germany, he would come to Turkey, and we would meet somewhere else. I reassured him that with my understanding, having been married to a serviceman before, our being apart was not going to push us apart. I fully understood what it takes, I’ve done it before. His family background in teaching and my background in lasers made conversations about work easy and comfortable.

 

When we weren’t together we messaged and called every day. I was continuously wooed with “I love you, I miss you, I think about you always”. Every day. I felt so cared about and adored.

The internet was sketchy at his new work location but we still messaged every day. I still got words of love every day. Never a hint of anything else. Six days before the final day, I received another “I love you, I miss talking to you, don’t be sad I always think about you” message. He was to fly back to Germany two days later.

 

Then nothing, no contact. I spent the weekend in Istanbul spouting my concern not for “us” but for him. I knew he loved me and felt secure in that. I wasn’t even remotely worried that anything was wrong with us. I was worried something had happened at his work and he was stuck there. I was worried that something had happened on the way to the plane. I was worried something had happened to his phone.

I contacted his dad and his friend to make sure he was ok. It had been a week since I had heard from him and I needed to know he was ok.

 

Then he called.

And in a brief 5 minutes he told me we were over. With nothing more than “It’s not you, I need my own time, I don’t love you and there’s no chance to get back”, we were done.

I’m left here with an engagement ring, a plane ticket to Germany on my birthday, a lot of pictures and memories that had futures packed in them, a lot of unanswered questions, and a lot of pain.

 

I will keep saying I don’t love him until it’s finally true. I will keep my head up because I am worth more than this ending. I will not break because I am still me and I still love me. I will not hide from love in the future. I will not hide in a dark cave of misery though I have considered actually drowning myself in chocolate; just for the humor of it. A vat of chocolate syrup, just stick my head in until I have to breathe, then inhale chocolate sauce to my end. It sounds darkly funny to me right now. Ok, I’m not even close to suicidal so don’t get crazy mama. It’s just a funny thought right now.

But damn it I can’t stop crying and it’s starting to piss me off that my eyes hurt so much. It’s bad enough I hurt enough TO cry, do I really need to hurt Because I cry??? Will chocolate syrup stop my eyes from hurting??

 

I don’t know folks. I have no answer except that I will move on from this too.

 
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Posted by on 01/10/2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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